Mariupol Youth to Address Environmental Challenges with Support from the EU and UNICEF

17 December 2019

ariupol hosted the selection of winners of the UPSHIFT Ukraine programme. The five winning teams will receive funding from the European Union (EU) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) for implementation of their environmental projects.

This is the third wave of selection of participants for the UPSHIFT programme in Mariupol. This time, UPSHIFT sought projects to improve the environmental situation in the city. The winners included initiatives to open a specialized playground for dogs, plant a green alley near the school, tailor eco bags and sacks from recycled materials, set up a technological environmental laboratory at a school, and promote waste sorting practices in schools.

“I am very pleased that our Mariupol youth have the opportunity to take part in UPSHIFT Ukraine. I believe that such programmes should be implemented on different topics so that they cover all areas. And we are very interested in having active youth who propose solutions to existing problems,” said Vaahn Mnatsakakian, Head of the Environment, Energy Management and Labour Protection Department at Mariupol City Council.

The UPSHIFT programme equips young people with the skills and resources they need to identify the problems in their communities and offer innovative solutions. UPSHIFT promotes the resilience of young people, and their communities benefit from the solutions they propose. Teams of young people aged 16 to 21 participate in the programme and receive training in planning, teamwork and entrepreneurial skills, as well as grants to implement their ideas and long-term support from mentors.

“It is very important for UNICEF to involve young people in making decision that affect lives in their communities. The current young generation is facing more difficulties than previous ones. We were pleased to see how effective the solutions proposed by young UPSHIFT participants can be,” explained Herve Morin, UNICEF Programme Specialist.

“For the first time, this UPSHIFT programme wave was made thematic. Given the serious environmental pollution in Mariupol, it was decided to dedicate this December wave to this issue. Local youth – through their experience – offered many unique solutions to improve the city’s environmental situation. Five teams have been supported to implement these solutions,” said UPSHIFT Programme Manager Maryna Ladyzhenska.

Mariupol will hold two more selections for the programme. Applications for the next wave can be made until 8 January 2020. Detailed information and a registration form are available here. More information about UPSHIFT can be found on the website or Facebook page.

Media contacts

Nina Sorokopud
Chief of Communication
UNICEF in Ukraine

Additional resources

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Professional Development of Kharkiv” is a Ukrainian non-governmental organization that has been operational since 2013 and has the goal of raising the capacity and material well-being of Ukrainian citizens by assisting them with employment and self-employment. Since 2018, the NGO is UNICEF’s implementing partner for the UPSHIFT Programme in Ukraine.


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